Northern Broadsides has announced that Laurie Sansom will succeed Conrad Nelson as artistic director and CEO in June this year. Sansom’s first production for the company will be in spring 2020 and will be announced later in the year.
Laurie Sansom, said about his appointment: “I’m thrilled to be joining Northern Broadsides at a moment when the companies who champion regional and diverse voices couldn’t be more crucial. I spent many of my years as a young director working at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough and other theatres across the region, where the work of Northern Broadsides is so valued by audiences and artists alike.
“The company’s bold and accessible take on classic and new plays has long been at the heart of the region’s cultural life, and I’m looking forward to working closely with local communities and partner theatres to develop its role making popular, radical work that reflects the rich diversity of today’s world.”
Rachel Harris, chair of Board of Trustees of Northern Broadsides added: “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Laurie Sansom as artistic director/CEO. Laurie brings boundless energy, vision and creativity to his work. He shares our vision to build on our position of strength as a producer and leading touring company in the UK. We look forward to an exciting future together. “
Sansom was the artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland 2013-16, for whom he directed The James Plays trilogy by Rona Munro in an unprecedented collaboration with the Edinburgh International Festival and the National Theatre of Great Britain. They were then seen across the UK and in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Whilst in Scotland he also directed his own adaptation of Muriel Spark’s The Driver’s Seat, and The 306:Dawn, a new site-specific piece of music theatre for the 14-18 NOW’s cultural programme to mark the centenary of the First World War.
Previously he was artistic director of Royal & Derngate, Northampton where he directed the European premiere of Tennessee Williams’ Spring Storm and Eugene O’Neill’s Beyond the Horizon, which both transferred to the National Theatre, London, and won him the 2010 TMA Award for Best Director. He also directed new versions of The Bacchae, Blood Wedding and Hedda Gabler as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Frankenstein (with Frantic Assembly), The Duchess of Malfi, Follies and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
At the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, he was the associate director to Alan Ayckbourn, where he directed over 20 new plays including Villette (with Frantic Assembly) and a season comprising of three new micro-musicals. His production of Dangerous Corner for the West Yorkshire Playhouse transferred to the Garrick Theatre.
Northern Broadsides’ artistic director and joint CEO Conrad Nelson will leave the company on 31 March. His final production with the Halifax-based theatre company will be the forthcoming touring co-production with the New Vic Theatre of Much Ado About Nothing.